Out and About for Art’s Sake

One sister arrived a few days earlier than the other so the two of us ventured out to discover the seacoast together. Since she’s a passionate potter, we spent a half day in Portsmouth visiting galleries and shops where she inspected and poured over local pottery. She’s an excellent potter and really knows her stuff. I found just how good when we were in a little shop with local pottery. She pointed to a container and said, “Now that looks like it was made in North Carolina.” The shopkeeper said, “Yes, that one did come from North Carolina.”  It all looked the same to me. One bowl immediately grabbed our attention. A whimsical bowl decorated with fish… a bit of playfulness that we both love. Sis said, “She’s a talented and creative artist, not a potter.” She could tell by just looking that it was a mold that the artist painted and glazed. We both loved this artist’s free design on the bowl…. and I bought it! That night we Googled the artist, Pat DeGrandpre, and discovered that she lives just across the river in Maine and exhibits in a small artist co-operative called Just Us Chickens Gallery. She makes other pieces of art and she knits. “Let’s go visit Kittery,” I said. We recognized her work as soon as we entered the gallery. We were enjoying her pieces and a multitude of other artists’ creations when the lady behind the desk said, “Speak of the devil…”  We turned and there she was. Pat DeGrandpre. We asked her to hold the little hat she made that we were about to purchase. With a smile, she posed while I photographed her with iPhone. We also learned about the studio of a seasoned local potter, Elaine Fuller, and my sister couldn’t resist the opportunity to visit her studio. We met Elaine at The Red Door Pottery where she and sis talked shop and sis bought too much and shipped everything home to California. Sis was over the moon about the talent she saw and encouraged me to enroll in Elaine’s classes. Hmmmm… While in Kittery, we transported our lunch to historic Ft. McClary for a delightful picnic at the site of an original 1690 defensive fortification, now the site of an impressive 1844 blockhouse that provides a commanding view of the harbor. Not sure if the fort ever saw battle but it was manned during 5 wars to protect the Piscataqua River and US Navy Shipyard. On the National Register of Historic Places, it is owned by the state of Maine.

7 thoughts on “Out and About for Art’s Sake

    • We had a blast in Kittery, my first visit there. Lots of cute shops and great restaurants. My sister, who isn’t easily impressed, was blown away by Elaine’s talent. Maybe I should start classes!

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  1. Annie, I love great art experiences. The fish bowl is lovely. Can you buy on etsy? Also, you must take some pottery classes. I am taking classes monthly at Bay School…. wine, cheese, art and laughter. It’s a great stress releaser and finding the more creative inner self.

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  2. Those were some great days meeting wonderful artists and having a picnic at Fort McClary. I want to do it all again! Thank you for great new memories. My pottery arrived today and I am drinking out of one of my beautiful new cups. Ah… life is so good.

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